Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) (Ike) gathered in the ship’s forecastle to celebrate the frocking of the ship’s five newest master chief petty officers, May 8.
Ike’s newest master chiefs are: Master Chief Logistics Specialist Lori C. Brown, Master Chief Aviation Electronics Technician Raymond J. Fisher, Master Chief Machinist’s Mate Rodney C. Matthews, Master Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Thomas C. Mickle and Master Chief Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Robert M. Stumm.
All were acknowledged for their achievements, though only two, Matthews and Mickle, were present for the frocking ceremony due to the others having prior obligations.
Mickle said he was more than happy to achieve his final rank while serving aboard Ike, the ship where he served as an E-1 the first time his paygrade changed, to E-2.
“It’s been a dream come true for me,” Mickle said. “I’m still kind of in a state of shock.”
Ike Command Master Chief Shay Langejans said earning the rank of master chief is a remarkable accomplishment.
“It’s indicative that all the hard work that they put in is paying off,” Langejans said. “Very rarely do Sailors become master chiefs; only one percent of Sailors make it that far. I’m proud to call them my shipmates.”
Mickle said that being in the U.S. Navy has been a roller coaster of struggles and triumphs but with dedication and perseverance, he was able to push through the hard times.
“It’s not only about doing things when it’s right and when it’s convenient, it’s also about doing things right when the morale is down and everything is heading in the wrong direction,” said Mickle. “With hard work and dedication, anything is possible.”
Stumm, invited to the Pentagon in recognition of winning the 2013 Stennis Center Waging Peace Leadership Award, was visiting Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Jonathan Greenert when the master chief promotion list was released. Greenert proposed an impromptu promotion ceremony in his office and subsequently frocked Stumm.
Dwight D. Eisenhower is currently undergoing a scheduled docking planned incremental availability (DPIA) at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va.
Press Release, May 9, 2014; Image: US Navy